A few weeks ago, on a predawn run, I suddenly slipped on a crack in the pavement in the dark, falling hard, face down onto pavement. I hit my head and shoulder on the ground. For some reason, I wasn’t wearing a headlamp. It was my earliest run in 3 months so my eyes were not accustomed to running in the darkness. I was trying to hurry back so my wife could get ready for work and I could take care of our new puppy. But hurrying has its risks especially in the dark without adequate light. And crossing diagonally in the street is risky when you reach uneven pavement or “4 corners” points. Sleep deprivation from puppy training didn’t help matters. Injuries were minor but an abrasion to my cheek and a black eye, cut above my eye, too. I was wearing glasses but weak prescription ones, not my bifocals. It’s very difficult to see those different heights of ground in the dark. Especially while wearing Five Fingers shoes.
For a while, I was really concerned that it was a possible concussion, at least a mild variety. But by resting and “laying low” for a few days, my energy began to return. Don’t think it was a concussion but I definitely got my bell rung. My running mojo and confidence was damaged a bit but that is also beginning to return.
Friends asked me “what caused your fall?” and “why did you fall?”. Since it was dark, and I can’t be completely sure, I told friends that I slipped on a banana peel. Maybe not a real one. But at least a figurative proverbial banana peel. Then while running a half-marathon recovery run, I was tickled to see a camouflage brown banana peel on my running path. I laughed and laughed. After photographing the hazardous banana peel, I realized other runners, pedestrians, and pets could slip upon the banana peel and fall. So I circled back to remove the banana peel from the sidewalk. Problem solved. On the same run, I found a perfect pinecone (perfectly shaped like a blimp pinecone). I just had to bring it home. For me, the pinecone represented hope for a better future of running avoiding hazards.
I think I realized that we can’t always be in a hurry and if we are, sometimes bad things can and will sometimes happen. But even when bad things do happen, we have to brush ourselves, get back up, and move on with life. I remembered the Japanese proverb: “Fall Down Seven Times, Stand up Eight.”Although this fall was a blow to my self-confidence as a runner, I learned something from it.
To put it simply, Murphy’s Law of collisions with pavement is: Don’t. The pavement always wins.